August 31, 2004
Dead Guy Quotes
Words from a dead Greek That still apply today:
"It is a law of nature, common to all mankind, which time will neither annul nor destroy, that those that have greater strength and power shall bear rule over those that have less."
Words from a dead Italian on why Kerry has so many followers:
"Men are so simple and ready to obey present necessities that one who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be destroyed."
Words from some Americans on the necessity of the War On Terror:
"If we desire to secure peace, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."
"God greants liberty only to those who live it and are always ready to guard and defend it."
Words by a dead Gernman:
"A conquering army on the border will not be halted by the power of eloquence."
Otto von Bismarck
To the Reichstag
September 24, 1867
Words from an American that do not apply to John Kerry: Bold line only
"You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray that a Merciful God will extend to you His blessing and protection."
General Robert E. Lee
General Order #9
HQ, Army of Northern Virginia
April 10, 1865
Words from a dead Englishman on Kerrys voting record:
"I have only one eye; I have a right to be blind sometimes...I really do not see the signal."
Upon raising a telescope to his blind eye
Battle of Copenhagen
April 1, 1801
Words by an American that liberals simply cannot comprehend:
"The individual who refuses to defend his rights when called by his Government, deserves to ba a slave, and must be punished as an enemy of his country and friend to her foe."
To the People of Louisiana
September 21, 1814
Words by a dead Austrian that prove the folly of liberalism:
"Those who support the pacifist ideal inevitably support efforts to conquor the world to its fullest."
- Joatmoaf -
The Feet of Nemesis
Victor Davis Hanson, a scholar and a classicist, brings his unique perspective to bear on the Swift Boat controversy:
The Swift-boat vets were probably willing to grimace and bite their teeth throughout the present campaign, but not when Kerry paraded his service, saluted the Democratic delegates ("reporting for duty"), and posed as a time-honored proud warrior of the American military.
And so now we have the present mess that will go on for weeks and can only hurt Kerry. He is earning a reputation for once welcoming third-party hit ads, then (now) whining about them; for parading his service, then whining about scrutiny of it; for spouting braggadocio, then whining about hurtful speech. As the Greeks remind us, pride can lead to hubris and then to Nemesis — on its tragic and ultimate rendezvous with ruin.
So I conclude with empathy for John Kerry, whom I appreciate as a veteran who served his country — even if I would not now vote for him. He should have been aware of the god Nemesis. Still, in a spirit of magnanimity and appreciation for his months on a boat in a very inhospitable landscape, Americans perhaps should remember the words of Pericles, as recorded by Thucydides shortly after the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War: "For there is justice in the claim that steadfastness in his country's battles should be as a cloak to cover a man's other imperfections; since the good action has blotted out the bad, and his merit as a citizen more than outweighed his demerits as an individual."
John Kerry's four and a half months in Vietnam is perhaps enough to atone for the calumny he heaped upon his brothers in arms on April 22, 1971. I'm not sure I'm convinced. Is it enough to outweigh the weakness of his 18-year record in the Senate? His less-than-firm stance on Iraq? What is there in those four and a half months more heroic than the war records of John McCain, Bob Dole, or Bob Kerrey? They were all combat veterans with legislative experience and not one of them was elevated to the Oval Office. Clearly combat experience in and of itself does not move the American people.
Why, then, does John Kerry spend so much time and energy focusing on what amounts to a heartbeat in his personal history, when real heroes have not seen fit to mention it?
David Brooks smacks it out of the park:
John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger are the big stars of the first two days of the Republican convention, but they didn't get their prime-time slots because they're moderates. If the Republican Party had wanted to play up the moderate angle, they'd have put together the same sort of multihued and gender-balanced schmaltzfest they did in 2000.
McCain, Giuliani and Schwarzenegger are featured because they embody the brand of courageous conservatism the party has sought to project since 9/11. First, they are clear and self-confident in their beliefs.
Second, they know their own minds.
Third, they are obsessed with character.
Finally, they are most alive in the midst of the fray. Theodore Roosevelt once declared, "Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords." All three approach their various crusades with relish.
There is something chivalric and archaic about this form of political courage. Churchill and Thatcher had it, so did T.R. But today it is disdained in schools, where gentler virtues are held dear. And the movement-dominated organizations that now dominate our politics hate it. It's no accident Schwarzenegger, McCain and Giuliani are Republican renegades. Fiercely independent and self-reliant, they're viewed with suspicion by the litmus-test boys. Conservative activists actually campaigned against Giuliani in his 1993 mayoral race because he wasn't right on abortion and other conservatively correct issues.
But despite a generation of enlightened edification, this sort of archaic courage still seems to inspire people. This is not the golden age of manliness, but Schwarzenegger, Giuliani and McCain are three of the most popular figures in America today.
And they are here in New York to say that George Bush is fighting the war against radical Islam with their sort of tenacity, their sort of constancy. For ultimately, they are suggesting that whatever mistakes he has made, he has the courage that is required, and his opponent does not.
If Sept. 11 had not happened, I doubt McCain, Giuliani and Schwarzenegger would be as intertwined with George Bush as they have been. But it did happen. And whatever their cultural and personal differences, they do see eye to eye on the global conflict with radical Islam.
The coming weeks will be so tough because the essential contest - of which the Swift boat stuff was only a start - will be over who really has courage, who really has resolve, and who is just a fraud with a manly bearing.
I'd be jealous, but I'm glad someone said it.
In The Jetstream
I do apologize, but I've been madly distracted by my job of late (you know, that annoying thing that pays the bills...) and my spousal unit (the reason I show up for my job). Fortunately the crack Jet Noise reporting team reported for duty with a virtual blizzard of links:
From the prolific JW, not news, but very well written and a good read.
Go ahead...kick the %$&^ dog...
But officer... he had it when he left the house...
Only you can stop the rampant 'Hattery that threatens to overwhelm this Planet. Help now.
I'm not sure if this is from Pile On or Enid and Zoe:
Tom McC and CKC (great minds think alike)
Tom reports that Ed Morrissey had a rough time on his first day in The Big Apple.
Via CKC, John Kerry imitates Dr. Who. Not only is he unsure where he is... he's unsure when he is.
Via Purple Raider:
Apparently, success is all in how you define your goals...
Yeah, but... dude... they had this really awesome dragon and it was, like, totally ...breathing fire... OK... so it was... on fire.
Somehow I doubt this will make it onto the 6 o'clock news. Thank you NYC.
Rampant Moonbattery in NYC.
Via Right Wing News.
Martin Luther King: Shining Example, Teacher Ignored
Star Parker on Martin Luther King:
Because King was able to scale the heights and see America's racial problems from the perspective of the ideals and truths in which this nation is rooted, he understood that the truths that informed the ideals of a descendant of slaves were the same truths that informed the ideals of otherwise great men who owned slaves.
Because King waged his battle from these heights, this man with many reasons to be bitter lectured against bitterness, with many reasons to hate lectured about love, with many reasons to be violent preached nonviolence, and with many reasons to play on divisions spoke about brotherhood.
A man less than Dr. King could have played to the passions of the crowd and consolidated power through the politics of hate, blame and envy. He could have talked about two Americas and haves and have-nots.
Instead, Dr. King talked about a common destiny, a brotherhood of man, and a free nation under God. He appealed to those in power to recall the eternal truths and ideals that make this nation great and to understand the extent to which those ideals had been lost and compromised. He reminded us that those truths and ideals are the unifying principles of our nation, and that they define the American community. He appealed to blacks to focus on those truths and ideals and not on that part of the nation that turned away from them.
When I look at the sad remains of the civil rights movement in America, I can't help noticing how often Dr. King's name is invoked, and how seldom his actual words are quoted anymore. I believe this is because his uplifting message of self-reliance, self-respect, and hope is diametrically opposed to the defeatist and divisive tripe being pedaled by the modern-day NAACP, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton. That message is designed to tear down, not to build up.
Like Star Parker, I challenge you to read Dr. King's I Have A Dream speech again and ask yourselves whether his ideals, as expressed in this speech, are really consistent with the platform of the Democratic Party?
More and more, blacks are moving away from total ideological conformity. This is as it should be. A truly free people are free to disagree: free to debate amongst themselves. This was Dr. King's dream: that the content of a man's character would one day become more important than the color of his skin. Only then would we move beyond destructive race politics and come together as a nation.
I am proud and honored to have strong, intelligent, and articulate women such as Juliette Ocheng, La Shawn Barber, and Star Parker in the conservative movement. There are not enough of them. I hope that will change soon. That they choose to participate in the national debate, not to please anyone else, but because it suits them, is a mark of their character and of our progress as a society. That they have taken some flack for doing so both disturbs and humbles me.
Similarly, men like Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and entertainer Bill Cosby honor us with their wisdom, wit and outspoken courage. Our world would be poorer without them and they require no affirmative action program to assure their place on the world stage. Their talent is so compelling that we would clamor for their presence regardless of the color of their skin. They simply outshine the rest of the field.
And that's what America is all about, isn't it? Hard work, sweat, oftentimes failure, hopefully some acheivement, and ultimately allowing each of us to discover the hidden potential within. Nothing is assured except the opportunity to try. But isn't that why tens of thousands of immigrants - legal and illegal - flock to our shores every year?
With all its faults, inequities and injustices, America is still the shining city on the hill: a beacon to the rest of the world. And we should be thankful for the opportunity to live here on the heights. Even with everything he'd suffered in his far from perfect life, Dr. King saw that. Why can't we?
John Kerry Lied
- Joatmoaf -
Rebels Without A Clue
Last night the Unit and I watched the convention on TV. Live footage of the protesters ran in the background. In the street below they cavorted like dancing bears: banging drums, chanting and singing, marching, ringing bells, carrying signs, wearing costumes, faces brightly painted. It resembled Mardi Gras more than anything else. Wearing a look of disgust, Bill O'Reilly asked a local Democrat: surely these don't represent mainstream Democrats?
The man, young and well-groomed in an expensive suit, reared back and began to pontificate in fruity tones... "I don't think you can say that Bill... This is what Democracy is all about. This is the finest America has to offer. [I headed for the bar to refill my drink] This is a protest movement! This is what George Bush wants to destroy... blah blah blah [insert Democratic bromide here] blah blah" I may be putting words into his mouth. I admit I saw red after the first sentence or so, because it was so obviously BS.
I turned to the Unit and said, "Well, you know if he wanted to turn that into a true statement, he should have stopped after the first three words." Because that's the key to understanding the scene in the street below: thousands and thousands of scared little children who have stopped thinking: who have given in to their feelings. They don't like what's going on, they haven't a clue as to how to fix it, they aren't doing anything about it. They're not offering any ideas, nor are they working toward a solution. They're just unhappy and they're complaining to high heaven. In NRO, Byron York watches as various celebs hang out in a tony watering hole (where else does one give voice one's deepest political fears in post-Patriot Act America?) and wring their hands over the looming crisis:
"I'm scared. I'm f***ing scared out of my pants right now, and if you're not, wake up." The actress Rosie Perez was pouring out her heart Saturday night to a crowd of artists, performers, activists, and partygoers gathered at the Chelsea nightclub Crobar. "My heart is broken," Perez continued. "My heart is broken by this administration. I'm f***ing scared, and I'm mad as hell."
Notice that during her impassioned attempt to "Rock the Vote", Ms. Perez never once refers to her brain. Having watched her performances in the past, one is hardly surprised by this. One also suspects this may not be the first time Ms. Perez has been "out of her pants". It may be the first time a sitting President has been the cause of that state of undress. Then again, considering the previous occupant of the Oval Office, it may not.
Perez never explained precisely what she was scared of. She even confused the audience a bit when she said, "I really don't care who wins the election." But she said she was deeply concerned with "the issues," and that concern left her very, very frightened.
Translation: "Hold me, Daddy"... "I'm scared." When will these people grow up? Ms. Perez' little soliloquy reminded me of nothing more than the vapid utterances of the WTO protesters. Back then, I vainly struggled to understand what those earnest peace warriors stood for - it was impossible from listening to their incomprehensible ramblings. Nothing they said made any sense. I was able to glean that they didn't much like Poverty, Disease, or Kitten Bouncing. They also opposed Globalization, Big Companies, America, and Banks. On the other hand, they rather liked Food, Higher Wages For Poor People, and Progress.
The fact that there would be no Food or Higher Wages For Poor People if Big Companies and Banks from America didn't cooperate and invest in Globalization seemed lost on them. They were too busy smashing stuff, banging drums made from recycled cocoa fibers, and painting trees on their faces.
Mr. York continues:
She [Ms. Perez] wasn't alone. "This guy Bush makes Barry Goldwater look like Pollyanna," said comedian Chevy Chase. "He's frightening. He's scaring the crap out of me."
And the musician Marc Anthony Thompson (also known as "Chocolate Genius") said the current political situation had jolted him out of complacency and into a new age of activism. "I've been sitting on my lazy ass watching Maury Povitch," Thompson told the crowd. "Then I decided to get my lazy ass out on the f***ing streets."
I ask myself all the time: what are all these millionaires so scared of, and why are they holding press conferences to tell us about it? Like any party, the Democratic party is a spectrum: most live in the center. Out along the fringe are the left wing. Unfortunately, they are the loudest voices: the ones we hear the most from. The Left, many of whom live in Hollywood, are always talking about being scared. Tim Robbins talks about Chill Winds, about the White House shushing him up (although there is never any evidence that this has happened). Alec Baldwin threatens to move away if Bush is elected, then somehow bravely finds the courage to soldier on in John Ashcroft's America. How does he do it? The mass graves below Hollywood and Vine cry out with the voices of the dead who disappeared in the night after speaking out against BushHitlerCheneyBurton. John Ashcroft's digital brownshirts silenced Al Gore long ago: his stentorian voice no longer rings throughout the land. He will be missed.
There is this much truth in the idle rantings of the Hollywood elite: they are lazy. Mentally lazy. You can hear it when they try to talk about politics. They speak in generalities: profanity is substituted for descriptive adjectives, vague talk of concern about "the issues" obviates the need to examine (or worse, inquire) which specific "issues" keep these concerned citizens awake at night. Every other word out of their mouths is "I feel". Never "I think", which might indicate an attempt to rationally analyze policy. Or even "I believe", which shows some underlying principles ... like faith in God, mankind, or anything other than moral equivalence: the jello-like religion of tolerance that accepts everything except the man who thinks for himself.
Why are these people so frightened? Because they're impotent. They don't produce anything, they don't do anything, they don't make the world go around. They pride themselves on being creative and talented. And they are. But like children, they depend on the workers of this world, to whom they feel superior. They depend on the military, police, teachers, firemen, shopkeepers, engineers, accountants, lawyers, beancounters, agents, webmasters, truckdrivers, and construction workers. They depend on assembly line workers. In the final analysis what they do is fun, and entertaining, and it enriches our lives. But it's dispensable. And their solution to the world's problems is never to roll their sleeves up and get to work. It's to clog the streets of New York City in throngs and ring silly little bells, to dance around like demented moonbats.
And what frightens me when I'm feeling a bit low is that in an affluent and complacent society where we've drifted a bit from seeing the immediate results of our actions, these people could win.
Please vote. What you do with your vote is up to you, but read up on the candidates, research the issues, and cast your vote intelligently, with the future of your country in mind.
Thanks to Purple Raider for the NRO article :)
August 30, 2004
Fine Art of Insult
From Wicked Thoughts
"I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here."
- Stephen Bishop
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
- Winston Churchill
"A modest little person, with much to be modest about."
- Winston Churchill
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."
- Clarence Darrow
"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."
- William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"
- Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)
"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
- Moses Hadas
"He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others."
- Samuel Johnson
"He had delusions of adequacy."
- Walter Kerr
"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know."
- Abraham Lincoln
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
- Groucho Marx
"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge."
- Thomas Brackett Reed
"He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them."
- James Reston (about Richard Nixon)
"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."
- Charles, Count Talleyrand
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
- Mark Twain
"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
- Mae West
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go."
- Oscar Wilde
"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."
- Oscar Wilde
And a few favorites of my own:
Winston, if you were my husband I would flavor your coffee with poison.
- Lady Astor to Winston Churchill
Madam, if I were your husband, I should drink it.
- Winston Churchill, in reply
Winston, you are drunk!
- Bessie Braddock to Winston Churchill
Bessie, you're ugly. But tomorrow morning, I shall be sober.
- Winston Churchill, in reply
I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play, bring a friend... if you have one.
- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one.
- Winston Churchill, in reply
Interpreter! Interpreter! How do you say the opposite of Vive Le France?
- Winston Churchill, on Charles de Gaulle
A sheep in sheep's clothing.
- Winston Churchill, on Clement Atlee
There but for the grace of God, goes God.
- Winston Churchill, on Stafford Cripps
He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- Winston Churchill, on Stanley Baldwin
I've been staring at this for over 24 hours and it's so breathakingly idiotic that I'm still speechless (yes, I know you never thought you'd see the day).
The next step: making the learning environment common-sense free. h/t: CKC